Behind the Veil: A Look Inside HAUNTED

Come with me into Tansky House, where I’ll give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the world and inspiration for the book. Reader Beware: SPOILERS follow!

First, let’s judge a book by its cover. The house on the cover art was inspired by the historic Carson mansion in California, which Wikipedia calls, “the most grand Victorian home in America.” I knew I wanted Queen Anne style architecture for my story, and the house has already served as inspiration for several haunted house digital models, so it fit my needs perfectly.

But what about the interior?

This piece of inspiration came from another real-life source: a house listed for sale, that had a secret jail hiding inside its walls. A former sheriff’s residence, now an inconspicuous single family home.

You’ll notice that kitchen door looks very familiar…

As for the events of the story itself? Well, at the start of the book, it’s claimed that “the following horrors are inspired by true events.” While this is an overt nod to horror films where even the most outlandish story is claimed to be true, it’s also not a lie…

Many of the events in the book are taken straight from the headlines.

For example: the man who found a woman living in a crawlspace in his celling.

In addition to story moments ripped from the headlines, I binged horror movies, books, and television shows. The one that left the most profound mark on my own story has to be the one that arguably started it all: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

The Haunting of Hill House was my favorite read while I was researching and diving deep into haunted house stories. It’s safe to say, part of what I loved was the ambiguity. You, as the reader, had to choose what to believe. Was the main character losing her mind? Was the house truly haunted? Or was she manifesting the paranormal herself?

On the whole, interactive stories let the reader choose what to believe while reading: and thus make different choices. There are many different possible explanations as to what’s happening inside the house for HAUNTED, and I left bread-crumbs for you to collect based on your own beliefs. I have my own version of events, as will you. I’m excited to hear what people think they’ve experienced while exploring Tansky House.

Have you gotten HAUNTED yet? Let me know your thoughts below. Haven’t jumped in yet? Consider this your official invitation to spend three nights in the most haunted house in America…if you dare!

-JS

Chillingly Good

This review of HAUNTED posted on the eve before my birthday was a lovely gift. You don’t have to write a review this thorough, but I’m sharing because I think it represents the book nicely.

Have you gotten HAUNTED yet? If so, reviews are most welcomed. If not…don’t wait until the afterlife!

https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1C65T5GULFLTJ/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B09JL76H72

HAUNTED: Contest Time!

The conceit behind HAUNTED is a contest of sorts (“Can YOU spend three nights in a haunted house for $1M?”), so…why not a contest for the book launch?

I’ve printed five copies of this exclusive map of the severely haunted Tansky House. That’s all I’m making. I’m keeping one, I’m giving two away to friends who helped me create these maps, and I’m giving two away…to YOU!

Poster you can win!
Actual historical floor plan used for reference.

The contests are being run on social media; one poster given away to Twitter followers and one given away to Facebook fans. So, follow the Click Your Poison official Twitter account or go like the Facebook page to see the full rules on how to win.

Here’s what the poster will look like on your wall. Good luck, everyone!

Get HAUNTED!

3 Unique Storylines. Over 50 Possible Endings. Just one question… 
Can YOU be Scared… to Death?

You have been invited to join us in Tansky House:

Today’s the big day! HAUNTED is currently available to purchase in all formats.

Still need convincing? Check out this trailer on YouTube:

The most frightening day of the year isn’t Halloween. It isn’t Friday the 13th. The scariest day of the year, in fact, is today–because today is the day you enter… The House.

PS — There are soon to be other launch events, promos, and prizes. Make sure you join up on Facebook and Twitter so you don’t miss out.

Are you still here? What are you waiting for, the afterlife? Get HAUNTED today!

Hauntings, New & Olde

Happy Halloween! In this blog post, I’m going to give you an update on HAUNTED (a ghostly & ghastly Click Your Poison book), but first: an announcement.

I’ve been trying to crack audiobooks for the better part of ten years. AND I’VE FINALLY DONE IT. Look at this:

Partnering with award-winning narrator R.C. Bray (that’s his voice in the teaser) and the fantastic team at Cubus Games, I give you Click Your Poison: INFECTED. The first audiogamebook of its kind, designed for your smartphone.

It’s available now on iPhone/iPad and Android devices.

AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/click-your-poison-infected/id1590501949

GooglePlay Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cubusgames.cyp

If this project is successful, there will be more. So, if you like it, share the hell out of it. Here are those links again:

AppStore: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/click-your-poison-infected/id1590501949

GooglePlay Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.cubusgames.cyp


Now then. I can’t quite give you my haunted house story for Halloween, but the first draft is done! And you can pre-order HAUNTED now if you want to make sure you get your copy.

The book will launch on 2sday. 2/2/2022, which is exactly one year after SPIED. I had hoped to get HAUNTED out to you before Halloween (or hell, by Christmas), but this old house needed extensive renovations. I’m starting my rewrites next week based on some early feedback, but I think you’ll love it when it comes out.

Praise for HAUNTED:

  • “One helluva ghost story.”
    -Shirley Jackson, author of The Haunting of Hill House
  • “I’d seal my enemies in a cellar with a copy of HAUNTED, but that would be too good for them.”
    -Edgar Allen Poe, creator of the horror genre
  • “Decent story. Could’ve used more gables. ★★★”
    -Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of Seven Gables

Here’s how it works: You, Dear Reader, are the main character of this story. The House will change and mold itself to your fears — based on your own choices. 

Go ahead over to that pre-order page now, just so you don’t miss it and Happy Halloween!

-JS

HAUNTED begins

Authorial update!

I’ve officially spilled ink on the opening to HAUNTED, the next Click Your Poison book. That means I’ve organized notes, themes, and the major paths, or at least to the point where I can’t hold the words inside any longer.

This was later than I intended to start, but I’ve been distracted by a few things. A toddler and an infant, for starters, but also by a screenwriting project that will (hopefully!) lead to an interactive film written by you (the audience) and me (the me). I can’t say more on this now, but I’ve done all I can to help the producers sell the project to a studio, upon which I would be paid to write one of the more ambitious interactive fiction projects I’ve had the pleasure of dreaming up.